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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The Gulf of Cadiz seismicity is characterized by persistent low to intermediate magnitude earthquakes, occasionally punctuated by high magnitude events such as the M ~ 8.7 1755 Great Lisbon earthquake and the M = 7.9 event of February 28th, 1969. Micro-seismicity was recorded during 11 months by a temporary network of 25 ocean bottom seismometers (OBSs) in an area of high seismic activity, encompassing the potential source areas of the mentioned large magnitude earthquakes. We combined micro-seismicity analysis with processing and interpretation of deep crustal seismic reflection profiles and available refraction data to investigate the possible tectonic control of the seismicity in the Gulf of Cadiz area. Three controlling mechanisms are explored: i) active tectonic structures, ii) transitions between different lithospheric domains and inherited Mesozoic structures, and iii) fault weakening mechanisms. Our results show that micro-seismicity is mostly located in the upper mantle and is associated with tectonic inversion of extensional rift structures and to the transition between different lithospheric/rheological domains. Even though the crustal structure is well imaged in the seismic profiles and in the bathymetry, crustal faults show low to negligible seismic activity. A possible explanation for this is that the crustal thrusts are thin-skinned structures rooting in relatively shallow sub-horizontal décollements associated with (aseismic) serpentinization levels at the top of the lithospheric mantle. Therefore, co-seismic slip along crustal thrusts may only occur during large magnitude events, while for most of the inter-seismic cycle these thrusts remain locked, or slip aseismically. We further speculate that high magnitude earthquake's ruptures may only nucleate in the lithospheric mantle and then propagate into the crust across the serpentinized layers.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
    Format: text
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2017-11-19
    Description: The Gulf of Cadiz seismicity is characterized by persistent low to intermediate magnitude earthquakes, occasionally punctuated by high magnitude events such as the M ~ 8.7 1755 Great Lisbon earthquake and the M = 7.9 event of February 28th, 1969. Micro-seismicity was recorded during 11 months by a temporary network of 25 ocean bottom seismometers (OBSs) in an area of high seismic activity, encompassing the potential source areas of the mentioned large magnitude earthquakes. We combined micro-seismicity analysis with processing and interpretation of deep crustal seismic reflection profiles and available refraction data to investigate the possible tectonic control of the seismicity in the Gulf of Cadiz area. Three controlling mechanisms are explored: i) active tectonic structures, ii) transitions between different lithospheric domains and inherited Mesozoic structures, and iii) fault weakening mechanisms. Our results show that micro-seismicity is mostly located in the upper mantle and is associated with tectonic inversion of extensional rift structures and to the transition between different lithospheric/rheological domains. Even though the crustal structure is well imaged in the seismic profiles and in the bathymetry, crustal faults show low to negligible seismic activity. A possible explanation for this is that the crustal thrusts are thin-skinned structures rooting in relatively shallow sub-horizontal décollements associated with (aseismic) serpentinization levels at the top of the lithospheric mantle. Therefore, co-seismic slip along crustal thrusts may only occur during large magnitude events, while for most of the inter-seismic cycle these thrusts remain locked, or slip aseismically. We further speculate that high magnitude earthquake's ruptures may only nucleate in the lithospheric mantle and then propagate into the crust across the serpentinized layers.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2015-01-27
    Description: In the Gulf of Cadiz key segment of the Africa-Iberia plate boundary (North-East Atlantic ocean), three main different modes of tectonic interference between a recently identified wrench system (SWIM) and the Gulf of Cadiz Accretionary Wedge (GCAW) were tested through analog sand-box modeling: a) An active accretionary wedge on top of a pre-existent inactive basement fault; b) An active strike-slip fault cutting a previously formed, inactive, accretionary wedge; and c) Simultaneous activity of both the accretionary wedge and the strike-slip fault. The results we obtained and the comparison with the natural deformation pattern favor a tectonic evolution comprising two main steps: i) the formation of the Gulf of Cadiz Accretionary Wedge on top of inactive, Tethyan-related, basement faults (Middle Miocene to similar to 1.8 Ma); ii) subsequent reactivation of these basement faults with dextral strike-slip motion (similar to 1.8 Ma to present) simultaneously with continued tectonic accretion in the GCAW. These results exclude the possibility of ongoing active SWIM wrench system cross-cutting an inactive GCAW structure. Our results also support a new interpretation of the SWIM wrench system as fundamentally resulting from strike-slip reactivation of an old (Tethyan-related) plate boundary
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The Gulf of Cadiz and the passive continental margin of southern Iberia to the west of the Strait of Gibraltar locally accommodate the presently ongoing convergence between Africa and Eurasia by widespread, rather diffusive, seismic activity. Seismicity of the northern Gulf of Cadiz was derived from an amphibious seismological network, including 24 temporary marine offshore stations, besides the permanent networks in Portugal, Spain, and Morocco. During the 6 month of the offshore network operation, in total 86 local earthquakes were located at six or more offshore stations with the majority of earthquakes occurring to the southwest of Iberia and along the Algarve continental margin off southern Iberia. The distribution of events along the Algarve margin mimics features reported for the Atlantic passive continental margins of both South and North America. Focal mechanisms at the Portimão Bank support that seismically active areas are associated with compression. Similar stress patterns are reported for the east coast of South and North America. However, while earthquakes along the American east coast occur at crustal levels, earthquakes in the northern Gulf of Cadiz occur both in the lower crust and upper mantle, with the majority of events rupturing within the mantle, including a number of well-located earthquakes beneath crust forming the continent-ocean transition zone. The large number of earthquakes in the mantle might be caused by the unique geological setting, where deformation occurs in cool lithosphere of Mesozoic age. We suggest that seismicity along the Algarve margin is caused by re-activation of pre-existing margin-parallel faults rather than corresponding to newly formed structures related to a new developing plate boundary.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
    Format: text
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  • 5
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    PANGAEA
    In:  Supplement to: Hensen, Christian; Scholz, Florian; Nuzzo, Marianne; Valadares, Vasco; Gràcia, Eulàlia; Terrinha, Pedro; Liebetrau, Volker; Kaul, Norbert E; Silva, Sonia; Martinez-Loriente, Sara; Bartolome, Rafael; Piñero, Elena; Magalhães, Vitor H; Schmidt, Mark; Weise, Stephan M; Cunha, Marina Ribeiro; Hilário, Ana; Perea, Hector; Rovelli, Lorenzo; Lackschewitz, Klas S (2015): Strike-slip faults mediate the rise of crustal-derived fluids and mud volcanism in the deep sea. Geology, 43(4), 339-342, https://doi.org/10.1130/G36359.1
    Publication Date: 2019-02-13
    Description: We report on newly discovered mud volcanoes located at about 4500 m water depth 90 km west of the deformation front of the accretionary wedge of the Gulf of Cadiz, and thus outside of their typical geotectonic environment. Seismic data suggest that fluid flow is mediated by a 〉400-km-long strike-slip fault marking the transcurrent plate boundary between Africa and Eurasia. Geochemical data (Cl, B, Sr, 87Sr/86Sr, Delta18O, DeltaD) reveal that fluids originate in oceanic crust older than 140 Ma. On their rise to the surface, these fluids receive strong geochemical signals from recrystallization of Upper Jurassic carbonates and clay-mineral dehydration in younger terrigeneous units. At present, reports of mud volcanoes in similar deep-sea settings are rare, but given that the large area of transform-type plate boundaries has been barely investigated, such pathways of fluid discharge may provide an important, yet unappreciated link between the deeply buried oceanic crust and the deep ocean.
    Type: Dataset
    Format: application/zip, 5 datasets
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2018-04-25
    Description: The Gulf of Cadiz and the passive continental margin of southern Iberia to the west of the Strait of Gibraltar locally accommodate the presently ongoing convergence between Africa and Eurasia by widespread, rather diffusive, seismic activity. Seismicity of the northern Gulf of Cadiz was derived from an amphibious seismological network, including 24 temporary marine offshore stations, besides the permanent networks in Portugal, Spain, and Morocco. During the 6 month of the offshore network operation, in total 86 local earthquakes were located at six or more offshore stations with the majority of earthquakes occurring to the southwest of Iberia and along the Algarve continental margin off southern Iberia. The distribution of events along the Algarve margin mimics features reported for the Atlantic passive continental margins of both South and North America. Focal mechanisms at the Portimão Bank support that seismically active areas are associated with compression. Similar stress patterns are reported for the east coast of South and North America. However, while earthquakes along the American east coast occur at crustal levels, earthquakes in the northern Gulf of Cadiz occur both in the lower crust and upper mantle, with the majority of events rupturing within the mantle, including a number of well-located earthquakes beneath crust forming the continent-ocean transition zone. The large number of earthquakes in the mantle might be caused by the unique geological setting, where deformation occurs in cool lithosphere of Mesozoic age. We suggest that seismicity along the Algarve margin is caused by re-activation of pre-existing margin-parallel faults rather than corresponding to newly formed structures related to a new developing plate boundary.
    Keywords: ddc:550
    Language: English
    Type: http://purl.org/escidoc/metadata/ves/publication-types/article
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2018-04-25
    Description: The Gulf of Cadiz and the passive continental margin of southern Iberia to the west of the Strait of Gibraltar locally accommodate the presently ongoing convergence between Africa and Eurasia by widespread, rather diffusive, seismic activity. Seismicity of the northern Gulf of Cadiz was derived from an amphibious seismological network, including 24 temporary marine offshore stations, besides the permanent networks in Portugal, Spain, and Morocco. During the 6 month of the offshore network operation, in total 86 local earthquakes were located at six or more offshore stations with the majority of earthquakes occurring to the southwest of Iberia and along the Algarve continental margin off southern Iberia. The distribution of events along the Algarve margin mimics features reported for the Atlantic passive continental margins of both South and North America. Focal mechanisms at the Portimão Bank support that seismically active areas are associated with compression. Similar stress patterns are reported for the east coast of South and North America. However, while earthquakes along the American east coast occur at crustal levels, earthquakes in the northern Gulf of Cadiz occur both in the lower crust and upper mantle, with the majority of events rupturing within the mantle, including a number of well-located earthquakes beneath crust forming the continent-ocean transition zone. The large number of earthquakes in the mantle might be caused by the unique geological setting, where deformation occurs in cool lithosphere of Mesozoic age. We suggest that seismicity along the Algarve margin is caused by re-activation of pre-existing margin-parallel faults rather than corresponding to newly formed structures related to a new developing plate boundary.
    Language: English
    Type: http://purl.org/escidoc/metadata/ves/publication-types/article
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2018-10-01
    Print ISSN: 0040-1951
    Electronic ISSN: 1879-3266
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
    Published by Elsevier
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